Heat Wave Washes Over Southland


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A heat wave will create “dangerously hot conditions'' in the Southland today and over the coming days, along with an “elevated danger'' of wildfire, the National Weather Service said.

A heat advisory will be in force from 11 a.m. today to 9 p.m. Sunday in L.A. County's coastal zone --- beach cities, metropolitan Los Angeles, Downtown L.A. and the Hollywood Hills.

A more serious excessive heat warning will be in effect from 11 a.m today to 9 p.m. Monday in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys, and the San Gabriel and Santa Monica Mountains; from noon today to 9 p.m. Monday in inland Orange County and the Santa Ana mountains below 5,000 feet; and from 11 a.m. today until 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Antelope Valley.

“Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities,'' warned a National Weather Service statement.

“Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside,'' it urged. “When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible.''

The NWS noted that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments for people performing outdoor work.

“With the cloud mass clearing out on Friday, dangerously hot conditions are forecast to develop. Temperature well above normal for this time of year will occur, with several sites likely setting or tying record high temperatures for Friday,'' the NWS said. “Some sites in the hottest valley locations and across interior valleys could see temperature sky rocket close to 110 degrees.''

The NWS also warned of elevated critical fire-weather between Friday and Monday, in part because of very dry vegetation, providing fuel for wildfires. Another factor is the fact that surface winds coming from the north will be weak, keeping the ground warm. But no red flag warnings have been issued.

Los Angeles city and county will open cooling centers today to give residents a place to escape the heat. The City of L.A's Department of Recreation and Parks and the county's Emergency Operations Center said cooling centers will be activated at specified facilities.

Due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, capacity is limited and people are should call ahead for the city's cooling centers to check space availability, according to the city Department of Recreation and Parks. The centers will follow the county's Department of Public Health social distancing guidelines during hours of operation. Information on the county's cooling centers as well as heat-related illnesses and prevention is at publichealth.lacounty.gov.

A statewide Flex Alert will be in effect this afternoon, calling for residents to turn off their lights and help conserve electricity.

Power grid operators are predicting increased demand for electricity, according to the California Independent System Operator, which issued the Flex Alert to call for voluntary electricity conservation. Residents and businesses are being asked to reduce their energy consumption, especially between the hours of 3 and 10 p.m.

“California will be experiencing near-record or record-breaking heat, up to 10-20 degrees above normal in some areas,'' said the California ISO. “Prolonged heat over several consecutive days is expected to drive electricity demand higher, as nighttime temperatures are also forecast to be above average''

Energy conservation tips from ISO include turning off unnecessary lights; using major appliances before 3 p.m. and after 10 p.m.; setting air conditioner thermostats to 78 degrees or higher; using fans; and keeping drapes drawn.

The NWS forecast a mix of sunny and partly cloudy skies in L.A. County today an highs of 83 degrees at LAX; 89 in Avalon; 94 on Mount Wilson; 96 in Long Beach and Downtown L.A.; 101 in San Gabriel; 103 in Burbank; 105 in Pasadena; 107 in Saugus; and 108 in Woodland Hills, Palmdale and Lancaster. Saturday will be even warmer, with Woodland Hills, Palmdale and Lancaster reaching highs of 110. Three-digit temperatures will remain in those communities until at least Thursday.

Sunny skies were forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 82 in Laguna Beach and San Clemente; 84 in Newport Beach; 90 on Santiago Peak; 95 at Fremont Canyon and on Ortega at 2,600 feet; 96 in Irvine; 97 in Mission Viejo; 98 in Yorba Linda; and 99 in Anaheim and at Trabuco Canyon. Highs will remain in the 90s through Thursday, with no triple-digit temperatures in Orange County's forecast as of this morning.

Photo: Getty Images

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